Akhil Sajeendran’s ‘Anna’, which zooms in on an innocent wish of a young girl, takes inspiration from Paulo Coelho’s famous quote
Little Anna harbours a simple wish — for once, she wants to ring the conductor’s bell in the bus she travels to school every day. It is a harmless desire the schoolgirl has been cherishing for a while, so much so that she even lights candles for the mother goddess. But will the ‘universe’ grant her wish?
Malayalam short film Anna, which has gone viral for its warm treatment and message of hope, zooms in on the titular girl and her innocent desire. The short revolves around the famous inspirational quote by author Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist — “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Akhil Sajeendran, who directed the film, says he was inspired by a real-life story to come up with the idea. “One of my friends’ sister in fact had such a secret wish [to ring the bell in a bus] when she was young. She mentioned this casually when one day we met up during a function,” recalls Akhil from Ernakulam.
He then teamed up with his friends Anandu Manohar, Ajay Varghese and Arun Abraham — all movie buffs — who lent a helping hand with the script. The main character of Anna is played by eight-year-old Jiah Imran. Akhil says Anna was shot in June in Ernakulam in line with COVID-19 protocol.
One element that ‘rings’ throughout the film is the employment of the sound of bell or clock chiming as an auditory leitmotif. There is even a bit of nicely done VFX in the introduction scene, apart from a four-line song sung by Christakala, noted for her number ‘Pathinettu Vayasu’ in the movie Uyare.
Akhil says he felt the short film would resonate with one and all. “Everyone harbours small wishes in their hearts. They might seem to silly to others but may be significant for the person concerned. Perhaps, it is even more so for kids,” he says.
Anna can be watched on YouTube